Megillah, Daf Heh, Part 3



גמרא. תנא: עשרה בטלנין שבבית הכנסת.


Gemara. [Ten men of leisure]:

A Tanna taught: The ten men of leisure who are in the synagogue.


The Talmud explains that "ten men of leisure" refers to ten men who are in the synagogue. Rashi explains that these are ten men that are paid to always be in the synagogue to ensure that there is a minyan. I am not sure if this reflects reality in Talmudic times or in Rashi’s time. My hunch is neither.

באלו אמרו מקדימין ולא מאחרין.

מאי טעמא? – אמר רבי אבא אמר שמואל: אמר קרא ולא יעבור.


With regard to these they said that they should be pushed forward but not postponed. What is the reason?

R. Abba said in the name of Shmuel: The text says, "And it shall not pass" (Esther 9:27).


I explained this in my commentary to the Mishnah yesterday. Esther 9:27 states, the Jews accepted upon themselves and their descendants and all those who might join them, that these days should not pass without observing them as it is written and in their time, year after year. The words should not pass are understood by R. Abba in the name of Shmuel to mean that one cannot observe Purim after the fourteenth/fifteenth of Adar has already passed.

ואמר רבי אבא אמר שמואל: מנין שאין מונין ימים לשניםשנאמר +שמות י"ב+ לחדשי השנהחדשים אתה מונה לשנים, ואי אתה מונה ימים לשנים.


And R. Abba said in the name of Shmuel: From where do we know that years are not to be counted by days?

Because it says, "Of the months of the year" (Exodus 12:2) [which implies] that you reckon a year by months but not by days.


The Talmud now cites another statement by the same amoraim. A "year" consists of twelve months and not 365 days. One ramification of this might be that if a person says, "I will not drink wine for a year" he may not drink until the same date on the next calendar year. He need not wait a full 365 days. This is derived from Exodus 12:2 which is read as implying that a year is reckoned by its months, not days.


ורבנן דקיסרי משום רבי אבא אמרו: מנין שאין מחשבין שעות לחדשיםשנאמר +במדבר י"א+ עד חדש ימיםימים אתה מחשב לחדשים, ואי אתה מחשב שעות לחדשים.


The Rabbis of Caesarea said in the name of R. Abba: How do we know that a month is not reckoned by its hours? Because it says, "Until a month of days" (Numbers 11:20): You reckon a month by days, but you do not reckon a month by hours.


When calculating a month, we follow the number of days, either 29 or 30, and not hours, which is actually 29.5. So if someone says, for instance, "Here is your divorce if I don’t return in a month," she is divorced after 29 days if it was a 29 day month. We don’t give him an extra half day to come back.